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Gateway approves Cleveland Indians’ $2.9 million request for renovations to Progressive Field

August 9, 2018

Gateway approves Cleveland Indians’ $2.9 million request for renovations to Progressive Field

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cleveland Indians are set to receive $2.9 million to help overhaul Progressive Field’s club seating area, but the team postponed another request to renovate ticket windows and the team’s administrative office.

The board of the Gateway Development Corp., which enforces the team’s lease of the ballpark on behalf of Cuyahoga County, on Wednesday approved the cost of the club seating renovations.

Use of the tax dollars will require approval from Cuyahoga County Council.

Per the team’s lease, Gateway is responsible for major capital repairs over $500,000. It pays for those repairs with revenue from a so-called sin tax on beer, wine, liquor and cigarettes, which totals about $15 million per year that is split between Cleveland’s three major sports teams.

The Indians first proposed in May a total of $8 million in new renovations for two projects that they said qualified as major capital repairs — $6 million to overhaul the club seating section, and $2 million to update the administrative office and ticket windows.

Gateway and the Indians discussed the proposed projects and ultimately agreed that only $2.9 million of the $6 million request qualified as major capital repairs. During that time, the team also decided to table their request for the administrative office and ticket window renovations.

David Faller, of Osborn Engineering, told the Gateway board on Wednesday that there was much “back-and-forth” between the two entities during negotiations, and said the request for the club seating overhaul was not as “cut and dry” as prior requests that clearly qualified as capital improvements.

The team will still move forward with their plan to overhaul the club seating area, which will update the Club Lounge, concourse and seating between sections 326 and 348 on the Club Suite Level of the park. Dining and kitchen spaces will be completely renovated. And the closed-off Club Lounge will be opened up so guests can take in the sights and sounds of the ballpark.

Gateway will only pay for the portions of the work that qualify as major capital repairs, and the team will pay for the rest. Gateway’s portion includes:

•Replacing food service equipment

•Glass glazing for the Club Lounge

•Heating, ventilation and cooling equipment upgrades

•Electrical and plumbing upgrades

•New flooring

The Indians previously said the renovations would begin after the 2018 season concludes and would be complete before the 2019 All Star game, which is scheduled for July 9, 2019 at Progressive Field.

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